Heads of government, business leaders and activists met in New York, this week for the one-day U.N. Climate Summit. One thing is for certain: If we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally, we have to stop deforestation, which is the second leading contributor of carbon emissions after burning fossil fuels.
On the same day delegates gathered at the summit, Liberia and Norway announced a partnership to protect forests in the African country. Norway will support Liberia’s efforts with up to $150 million until 2020. Announced at a joint press conference, the partnership means Liberia will become the first African nation to stop deforestation in exchange for aid from a developed country. In the first years, Norway will devote up to $70 million to implement policy measures and the necessary institution building.
The measures to be implemented in Liberia in the first phase include:
Peru has over 68 million hectares of forests, with one of the five largest, most diverse and best preserved tropical forests in the world. Peru’s deforestation rate is low, but it accounts for about 71 million tons of carbon emissions annually. The Peruvian Amazon is under pressure from agriculture, extractive industries and infrastructure projects. About 350,000 indigenous people live in the Peruvian Amazon and some have never established contact with the outside world.
Specific commitments included over 20 global food companies committing to source deforestation-free palm oil. Several European countries committed to developing new public procurement policies to sustainably source commodities like palm oil. The palm oil industry is responsible for deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia, the top two sources of the global supply of palm oil.
Image credit: Flickr/Travis Lupick
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.